A recent study from the Malaria Journal has shown that bed nets, in combination with indoor residual spraying (IRS), and malaria treatment have a major impact on child health in Africa. This study combines health data from a several countries in Africa and looks at the correlation between children’s health and the use of bed nets in family homes. And in just the last five years, the scale-up of bed net use has helped reduce overall childhood deaths by 20%.
The study took into account other health factors such as nutrition and HIV/AIDS treatment, and still found that bed net use was responsible for a remarkable improvement in children’s health. For example, in Zambia, the scale up in net use led to a major drop in overall child mortality rates, with a 29% reduction in children aged 0-5 years old.
We’re seeing more and more data lately that shows impressive progress in the movement to end malaria deaths in Africa. Just recently, the announcement was made that a child dies from malaria every 45 seconds, instead of every 30 seconds. And while this information is promising, it means that we still have work to do to send nets and save lives!